In discussing the House Plan, President Lowell seems at some pains to avoid the appearance of rushing the thing by emphasizing the point that the idea has been in the minds of the Corporation for some two decades. It seems justifiable to assume that this somewhat anxious stressing of what is at best a flimsy support arises from the consciousness that the completion of the plan is being forced with extraordinary haste. Certainly the statement that all the houses will be ready for occupancy by a year from next September falls as a surprise upon the ears of those who last Spring were given to understand that the plan would come slowly enough so that no man would be forced to live in a House who does not want to. A scant two years is hardly enough to win everyone involved over to a new scheme however sound or attractive, and when one deals with such an admittedly moot point as the House Plan the chances for wholesale conversion would seem to be considerably less.
Besides this possibility of residual opposition to the plan, the present haste would also seem to allow little opportunity for future Houses to profit by the mistakes of the two first units. The experimental nature of the plan has long been emphasized, but it is a silly sort of experiment which allows of no application of its results to future events. If modifications in the physical equipment of the first two Houses are found to be desirable, there will be small advantage in the discovery if the succeeding units have already been constructed. Equally important is the somewhat delicate matter of the choice of House Masters and tutors. The relationships of these men both among themselves and with their students promises to be somewhat entirely new, and much may be learned from the way in which the present choices work out. If all the Houses are to be completed within a year and a half, the principal appointments, will have to be made very soon. Obviously past experience can play little part in their making.
Still another and particularly cogent reason for moderating the speed with which the plan is being forwarded, is to be found in the attitude of possible future House Masters. While the success of the plan still hangs in the balance, many excellent potential Masters or head tutors may feel that they would be sacrificing much present advantage in the way of time for research or teaching if they accepted positions which offer them only problematic opportunities for greater usefulness. If, however, the first two units are allowed to proceed by themselves, and ultimately prove to be a great success these men may be won for the House Plan before it is too late.